Steve Carell Reacts to Nuggets Star Nikola Jokic’s Gru Impersonation

Nikola Jokic

Getty Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets reacts to a call against the Golden State Warriors.

American comedian Steve Carell, the voice behind “Despicable Me” mastermind villain Gru, was impressed with Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic‘s impersonation of the character in the movie’s promo teaser and his tunnel walk during the NBA Playoffs.

“Pretty good,” Carell told Extra TV when asked about Jokic’s Gru impression during the “Despicable Me 4” red carpet. “I think he nailed it completely. Good for him. I give him high marks for that.”

Jokic, wearing a suit close to the “Despicable Me” villain’s outfit, starred in the movie teaser blurting out, “They say I look like Gru” as the Minions followed him wherever he went.

The three-time NBA MVP ended the funny teaser ad by telling the Minions, “Guys, I’m not your boss!”

Jokic had so much fun playing Gru’s character that he followed up the movie teaser with his tunnel walk wearing a complete outfit of the “Despicable Me” character including his signature striped scarf.

“I love Gru, love the guy and love the cartoon,” Jokic said after his tunnel walk. “And why not just have a little bit of fun, too?”

Jokic’s goofy personality made his Gru impersonation authentic which endeared him more to NBA and movie fans.

The Nuggets star continues to have fun this offseason, reveling in his home country Serbia to forget about their second-round playoff loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Nikola Jokic’s Backup Is Nuggets’ Top Offseason Priority

The Nuggets’ failure to defend the title was attributed largely to their lack of depth.

Denver was outscored by 20.1 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs when Jokic was off the court, per Basketball Reference.

The Nuggets’ top priority is to add a capable backup center to ease the burden on Jokic.

Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz named four-time NBA rebounding champion Andre Drummond as the Nuggets’ dream free agency target.

“Andre Drummond and Jokić are completely different players, but Drummond might be the best that Denver can afford with only veteran-minimum contracts to offer,” Swartz wrote.

“Drummond’s rebounding remains elite. If he had played enough minutes to qualify, his rebound rate of 29.3 percent not only would have led the NBA, it would have topped Jusuf Nurkić by a whopping 6.5 percentage points. The gap between Drummond and Nurkić was roughly the same as Nurkić and Bobby Portiswho finished 25th on the league leaderboard.”

Bleacher Report’s salary cap expert Eric Pincus projected Drummond to get “a slight raise in the $5-8 million range if a team needs what he has to offer.”

Nikola Jokic on Track to Sign First $400 Million Deal

With the NBA salary cap about to spike with a new TV deal, Jokic has a chance to sign the NBA’s first $400 million contract in 2028, per Bleacher Report’s Bryan Toporek on May 23, 2024:

Jokić is under guaranteed contract through 2026-27, and he has a $62.8 million player option in 2027-28. If he turned down that player option, he’d be eligible for the same five-year, $381 million extension that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can potentially sign in 2026-27.

In the unlikely event that Jokić picks up his 2027-28 player option, he could sign the NBA’s first $400 million contract.

  • 2028-29: $72,253,335
  • 2029-30: $78,033,602
  • 2030-31: $83,813,869
  • 2031-32: $89,594,135
  • 2032-33: $95,374,402
  • Total: $419,069,343.

NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin made a similar prediction in July 2023, including Jokic among “Five players likely to pass Jaylen Brown for NBA’s largest contract.”

“By the summer of 2026 he could sign the NBA’s first $400 million contract as an extension of his current deal, specifically five years at $404 million,” Helin wrote. “Jokić could get that money whether he wins another MVP or title or not because he will have 10 years of service and be eligible regardless (his style of play should age well).”